Eolas releases WebRouser via the Internet

Eolas Information (info@eolas.com)
Mon, 18 Sep 1995 06:57:47 -0700

9/18/95 Chicago: Eolas Technologies announced today that it has
released its WebRouser(TM) applet-enabled World Wide Web
browser, royalty-free for individual non-commercial use.
Versions are currently available for Sun, SGI and Linux
platforms, with Windows and Mac versions to follow in first
quarter '95. The application, and sample Weblets can be downloaded
via the Web at http://www.eolas.com/eolas/webrouse/.

Based upon enhancements to NCSA's award-winning Mosaic
program, WebRouser features patent-pending technology that
drasticaly expands the functionality of Web-based
applications, and provides a simple and convienient way to
add new features to browser programs through the use of
plug-in applications, called Weblets(TM).

The Weblet enhancement allows fully-interactive program
objects to be run from within Web pages, through the use of
a simple <EMBED> command within the document's text. These
Weblet programs become treated by the browser as a part of
the Web document, displayed "inline" and controlled by the
user in place, without diverting the user's attention from
the document itself.

Three demonstration Weblet programs are being distributed
with the WebRouser package. These include an "inline" MPEG
movie player, a 3D CAD file viewer/manipulator, and a 3D
molecular modeling application.

For example, when a user visits a Web page that has a URL
for a 3D CAD model placed within the Web page through the
use of the <EMBED> tag, the browser fetches the CAD file
over the network and then launches the CAD viewer weblet on
the user's machine. The user sees a live window within the
Web page, displaying the fully-rendered 3D model, and a
control panel which allows the user to rotate the model and
zoom in to see details. When the user then travels from
that page to the next destination on the Web, the browser
"caches" the Weblet together with the Web page. If the user
then hits the "back" button, to return to the most recent
site, the Weblet appears again, right where the user left
it, having maintained its "state" (rotation position, zoom
level, etc) during the time it was cached.

Many other Weblets are currently under development by Eolas
and others, including Weblet-based interpreters for several
popular programming languages, such as Safe-Tcl/Tk, PERL,
and the GRASP animation language. Plans are in the works
for the creation of both JAVA and Visual Basic Weblets as

Other unique features of WebRouser include client-side image
map support, and the ability for the browser's button bar
and menu structure to be dynamically modified by simple
commands within HTML documents.

Client-side image maps, for example, allow HTML authors to
create graphical interfaces to their content that can be
distributed on CD ROM, using the same image-map-based front
ends as the online versions. Many publishers are attempting
to create hybrid CD ROMs that use Web browsers as their
front-end, capitalizing on the ability to develop one body
of content that can be used both for CD and online
distribution. These projects are often stymied by the fact
that the image maps that are currently all the rage on the Web
cannot be used to front-end the CD content.

The currrent approach on the Web is to use ISMAP-based image
maps that require that a remote server decode the hotspots
on the image. Since the ISMAP-based image maps are served
up by the remote machine, they can't be used to front-end
CDROM-based content, where oftentimes a network connection
is not available. WebRouser's client-side maps can be
loaded directly from the CD ROM, with no network connection

Another major advantage of WebRouser is the ability of Web
documents to dynamically modify the browser's button bar and
menu structure. According to Eolas CEO, Mike Doyle, "Most
Web designers try to build in some sort of navigation system
into their documents, usually at the top of the page. The
problem arises when the user scrolls down the page and
suddenly the navigation GUI is no longer visible. WebRouser's
<LINK> command allows the Web document to place a button bar
at the top of the screen, as a part of the WebRouser GUI.
When the user scrolls down the document, the navigation
buttons remain in place. Since the document drives the
definition of the buttons' functions, each Web site can have
its own Netscape-style "What's New," "What's Cool," etc.
button bar pointing to their own content, not to some
hard-coded browser company location, such as in other browsers."

Similarly, a <GROUP> command allows a Web document to define
a new menu option in the WebRouser menu bar, allowing the
user to quickly jump to a particular Web page within a
large, complex Web site hierarchy.

"This represent a new paradigm, since these technologies empower
Web designers to personalize their Web sites, and to deliver new
levels of interactivity via the web. Taken together,these
enhancements represent a quantum leap in the ability of Web
site designers to build compelling functionality into their
Web pages."

Eolas also announced the launching of their commercial
licensing program for both WebRouser and the development of
Weblet-based commercial applications. Further information
can be found at the Eolas WWW site (http://www.eolas.com),
or by calling (312-337-8740), faxing (312-337-8743), or
emailing (info@eolas.com) Eolas directly.

* Eolas Technologies Incorporated *
* 10 East Ontario Street, Suite 5106 *
* Chicago, IL 60611 *
* *
* voice: (312)337-8740 *
* fax: (312)337-8743 *
* Web: http://www.eolas.com *